IATA tests fully integrated digital identity for travel

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L’International Air Transport Association (IATA) and its industrial partners and aeronautics have successfully tested the first travel experience using thefully integrated digital passenger identitystreamlining the process from booking through border crossing formalities to boarding.

The proof of concept was successfully carried out on a route between London Heathrow and Rome Fiumicino with British Airways. “ Our vision of future travel is completely digital and secure with biometric identification. Although the technology exists to do this at every stage of a journey, connecting these stages together has proven to be a challenge. Today, with our partners, we have shown that it is possible. This will open up a world of possibilities for simpler travel in the future “, explained Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice President of Operations, Safety and Security.

Other partners participating in this first experience include Accenture, Amadeus, Australian Border Force, AWS, Branchspace, British Airways, IDnow, Aeroporti di Roma, Trip.com and Verchaska. The success demonstrated the potential for a future fully integrated digital travel experience leveraging biometrics with:

Personalized offers : This will be seen in the shopping experience where travelers will be able to receive personalized offers across all shopping channels. The LHR-FCO passenger shared his loyalty card data (stored as a verifiable identifier in his smartphone’s digital wallet) with a tour operator. This enabled airlines using the New Distribution Capacity (NDC) to offer personalized offers through the travel agency channel.

Simplified booking : Once the traveler chooses from the offers, a reservation is generated in the form of a verifiable identifier which can be stored in a digital wallet. No more need for passenger name records (PNR), electronic tickets or various electronic documents. All travel information is stored in the verifiable receipt, which can also be read as a QR code.

Effortless checking of travel requirements : Many processes can be carried out well before the traveler arrives at the airport. Alongside the digital wallet, a digital passport (stored in the traveler’s digital wallet) is a key tool. By sharing digital passport nationality data, passengers can confirm travel document requirements. IATA’s Timatic solution supports this.

Secure recordings : The traveler also chose to share their digital passport and order data with their airline, British Airways, to receive confirmation that they are ready to fly and seat assignment via text message, being spared the hassle manual data entry. The traditional boarding pass becomes optional if the traveler is offered and accepts a contactless experience at the airport.

Contactless airport experience : for the traveler who has chosen to share their biometric data, it will be possible to store it in a phone and pass through the airport hands-free (with your phone and passport in a pocket or handbag). The biometric terminals then allow LHR-FCO travelers to pass through security, access the lounges and board the plane.

In the future, all you need to travel will be a smartphone containing a digital wallet containing your digital passport, loyalty cards and other verifiable travel credentials. Achieving this reality requires the type of cooperation we demonstrated with this LHR-FCO flight involving eleven partners coming together to facilitate the first fully integrated digital journey. Success, of course, relies on interoperability and global standards, making the benefits of digital travel convenience available to travelers throughout their journey and wherever it takes them. said Nick Careen of IATA.

John Walker Avatar